- Places that cheap pre-pandemic aren’t now
- Orlando now less affordable than San Francisco
Pandemic Migration Upends Housing Affordability
Even pre-pandemic, superstar cities in the US and abroad began to price themselves out of reach. Then came the pandemic that shut down many of the amenities that attracted world travelers to those superstar cities. And on top of that, remote working enabled both workers and employers to disconnect from superstar cities.
Voila…many superstar cities became relatively empty as both employers and workers migrated to less expensive cities. And, of course, those less expensive cities began to cost more.
According to ApartmentList, formerly cheap cities like Boise ID saw monthly rents on a two-bedroom unit go from $875/month to $1,150/month.
According to Zillow, the typical mid-range house in the Boise metro area now costs +53% more than what it cost in 2013.
Pandemic Migration Changes to Rental Affordability
Take a look at this list of how many hours it would take for workers to pay average monthly rent on a two-bedroom apartment:
Aver. Rent Median Wage Hours
Metro April 2021 May 2020 Needed
Los Angeles $2,043 $21.90/hr 93.3/week
San Diego $2,043 $23.17 88.2
Miami $1,620 $18.60 87.1
Riverside $1,652 $19.05 86.7
Orlando $1,328 $17.59 75.5
San Francisco $2,181 $29.71 73.4
Tampa $1,364 $18.72 72.9
Sacramento $1,635 $23.11 70.7
Austin $1,490 $21.16 70.4
New York $1,736 $25.01 69.4
Las Vegas $1,246 $18.12 68.8
San Jose $2,267 $33.47 67.7
Phoenix $1,338 $19.86 67.4
Boston $1,839 $27.44 67.0
Baltimore $1,555 $23.30 66.7
You’ll note that by this means of comparison, Orlando comes out on top of San Francisco in terms of affordability as do Austin and Las Vegas compared to San Jose. Of course, San Francisco and San Jose are more expensive than Orlando, Austin and Las Vegas but, in terms of real time working at real time wages in these metros, Orlando is more affordable than San Francisco.
More Demand Leads to Higher Prices
In both purchase and rental prices, high demand leads to higher prices. In addition to Boise, micro-politan areas such as Boulder CO, Bozeman MT and Bend OR now have more residents driven by pandemic migration patterns and remote working trends…plus they now have rising opposition to development and NIMBY-ism.
Thanks to Bloomberg, ApartmentList, Zillow, and Bureau of Labor Statistics.
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